The verdict on the spending deal struck by President Obama and congressional leaders is now in from the Virginia Senate race’s top candidates — and it’s a split decision.
Jamie Radtke (R), former head of the Federation of Virginia Tea Party Patriots, was quick out of the box, Tweeting on Saturday that the budget deal was “a huge disappointment.” She also called the agreement “not serious.”
Ex-Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) also weighed in. In an interview Monday on WTTG, Kaine said, “I clearly think the compromise was the right thing to do.”
Allen, meanwhile, didn’t say initially how he would vote on the measure. He sent a message to supporters Saturday alleging that “Washington is broken” and complaining that “only in Washington would you pat yourself on the back for finishing a job six months late. ”
Then Kaine and Radtke ganged-up on Allen.
“I think it’s very clear you’re either for a shutdown or you’re for the compromise, and there’s no middle position,” Kaine said in the WTTG interview, even praising Radtke for being “plain about her position.”
And Radtke put out a release Monday titled “Radtke Clear on Budget Compromise Position; Waiting on Allen.”
On Tuesday, Allen’s campaign provided his answer.
Though it would be “a tough decision,” Allen spokeswoman Katie Wright said, “he would have reluctantly voted for it as an effort to avoid spending increases and avoid a shutdown.”
Now, on to the next fiscal fight — raising the debt limit.
In an April 1 blog post, Allen said Democrats “continue to obstruct reform” of the budget process and “defend the status quo.”
“Before there is any vote to increase the debt ceiling, Democrats must allow the Senate to vote on a Balanced Budget Amendment and make immediate and meaningful cuts in wasteful spending,” Allen said.
Kaine disagrees on this front, too, arguing that the debt-limit vote is too important to use as a bargaining chip for other goals.
“If Congress fails to reach an agreement on raising the debt ceiling, it will cripple our economy, halt our recovery, undermine our ability to do business with other nations and end up costing taxpayers more in the long run,” Kaine said in a statement issued by his campaign, adding that “raising the debt ceiling is necessary to ensure our fiscal stability and continued economic recovery.”
As the debt-ceiling debate approaches, Democrats are sure to note that then-Sen. Allen voted in 2006 to raise the debt ceiling at a time when the deficit was increasing, without any spending cuts or a balanced budget amendment attached.